Husband’s family ‘not liable for maintenance’

finances and divorce

A husband’s family cannot be forced to pay maintenance to his wife, an Indian court has ruled.

The case under consideration concerned a woman living in the western state of Gujarat whose husband had disappeared after the couple separated. She claimed he had been violent towards her and fled to her parents’ home, before making a claim for spousal maintenance. But when she discovered that her estranged husband had run off she directed the claim towards her mother-in-law and brother-in-law instead.

Her initial claim was unsuccessful but the ruling was late reversed by a ‘city sessions’(district) court, which ordered monthly payments of 9,000 rupees (£110.25).

But the award has since been overturned again, by judges at the High Court of Gujarat in the city of Ahmedabad, because the woman’s husband was still alive.

Justice JB Pardiwala explained:

“…it is apparent that any right which the wife has during the subsistence of her marriage and during the lifetime of her husband is against the husband and she has no right to claim any relief against the father-in-law or sister-in-law or any of the relatives of her husband in a smuch as the obligation to maintain her lies only on her husband.”

Photo of the High Court of Gujarat by Kiran 6853 via Wikipedia

Stowe Family Law Web Team

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1 comment

Andrew - October 13, 2016 at 8:03pm

So if you are separated from your husband and he dies his family can be ordered to maintain you?
Well, each to their own, and I dare say there are aspects of English family law which seem preposterous in India!

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